AP Source: Sharks to hire Peter DeBoer as head coach
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks will hire former New Jersey and Florida coach Peter DeBoer to replace the departed Todd McLellan.
A person familiar with the search said Wednesday that DeBoer will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the hire yet. ESPN first reported the move.
The decision to hire DeBoer ends a lengthy search that started April 20 when the team and McLellan announced that he would not be back for an eighth season in San Jose. The departure was announced as a mutual agreement and McLellan was later hired as head coach in Edmonton.
General manager Doug Wilson interviewed numerous candidates before deciding on DeBoer, who has coached seven seasons in the NHL with the Panthers and Devils.
After three seasons without making the playoffs in Florida, DeBoer was fired by the Panthers following the 2010-11 season.
He took over the Devils in 2011-12 and led New Jersey to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season where they lost to Los Angeles. DeBoer was fired by New Jersey in the middle of his fourth season last December. His career record is 205-183-70.
DeBoer most recently served as an assistant to McLellan at the world championships, where Team Canada won the title.
DeBoer has ties to the Sharks front office. Larry Robinson was one of his assistants in New Jersey and is director of player development in San Jose after serving as an assistant to McLellan the past three seasons.
The Sharks are in the middle of a rebuilding plan that started in earnest after a playoff collapse last spring in an opening-round series against Los Angeles. San Jose became the fourth NHL team ever to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games.
Wilson committed to a youth movement after that loss and Joe Thornton was stripped of his captaincy as part of the transition to younger players.
The plan did not go as smoothly as hoped as the Sharks missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season, ending the second-longest active run in the NHL. San Jose finished 12th in the 14-team Western Conference with 89 points.
DeBoer will take over a team that still has many of the same core pieces who were part of those playoff runs in Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But San Jose is also trying to build around players in their primes like Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, as well as younger players like Tomas Hertl, Mirco Mueller, Tommy Wingels, Matt Nieto and Chris Tierney.